Greta Van Fleet opened their “Dreams in Gold” tour in Kalamazoo on Thursday (March 10th), kicking off the run in their homeland of Michigan with the first of five dates in the state. With support from the Rival Sons and Velveteers, Greta Van Fleet left the Wings Event Center with a distinct taste of rock and a night to remember.
First, The Velveteers took to the stage, opening with “Motel #27.” The Colorado trio, led by singer Demi Demitro, set the mood for an energetic evening; Demitro thrashed appropriately as she sang about a hazy and uneasy world of loving.
Next was Long Beach, California’s Rival Sons, who also held their own in a competition of which opener could wow fans the quickest. For those unfamiliar with the five-piece, they are old enough to have a few grays, and cool enough that you want them to be your uncles. As they grooved into “Electric Man,” frontman Jay Buchanan effortlessly captivated the crowd.
Then it was time for the main event. Black curtains hiding the headliner’s set blew back, and the introductory instrumental of “The Weight of Dreams” from the band’s 2021 album The Battle at Garden’s Gate was heard beneath the audience’s anticipatory screams.
Fear not, GVF is intent on checking every box: new songs, old songs, drum solo, repeat. A rendition of “Black Smoke Rising” against lights of white and red rolled into the thunderous “Caravel,” before frontman Josh Kiszka formally welcomed the crowd.
As the three-ringed towers circling the stage turned blue, guitarist Jake Kiszka embarked upon another solo, this one seemingly a lost friend of “Weight of Dreams.” (A note about Jake: on this tour, more than ever, it’s clear that he’s secured his place among modern rock royalty. Leaned back, hair cascading, you’d think this is his one and only natural state — that once we all go home, he’ll still be there tomorrow, waging a war between his fingers and winning every time.) Then the strings slowed into a methodic rotation, automatic and dreary as “Age of Machine” took hold.
Spells of celebration and wonder were cast over the audience with tracks like the unhinged “Trip the Light Fantastic,” while fire danced and smoke streamed across the stage for the reflective “The Weight of Dreams.” While GVF is certainly future-facing, they also honored where they’ve been, including earlier tracks like “Watching Over” and “Age of Man.”